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Filene·Leadership·News Release·Updates

New Beginnings

A note from James:

Four years ago, you all started a journey with me. A journey to an unknown destination, but you came with me anyway. Four years ago, I took charge of The Cooperative Trust and everything that includes. As I write this, my part in this journey is approaching its end. Yours, however, continues onwards… What’s next for me? I’ll come to that later, but first…

The last four years have given me the chance to meet and work with some of the brightest talent in the credit union system. I’ve been surrounded by passionate, committed, kind and generous people at all times. Not once in the last four years has working with you, ever been ‘work’. You have made my life a joy to live, in all that you and this community of people have done. As I think about this time, a song comes to mind – “Swing Life Away” – there’s a line in this song that describes my time with The Cooperative Trust perfectly:

“I’ve got some friends, some that I hardly know
But we’ve had some times, I wouldn’t trade for the world”

In addition, there are also some thank-yous that need calling out by name: Brent Dixon, Theresa Jelderks (Hilinksi), Chris Fraenza, Meghann Dawson, Chad Helminak, Brianne Williamson, Heather Ristow, Tammy Wood, Lindsey Hodson. Andy Janning, Ariel Bilskey and Matt Vance.

As much as all this ‘touchy feely” stuff is what I’m all about, we’ve really achieved something too! We’ve seen the credit union system open its eyes and its arms to the need for the development of young talent, of you! We have seen more professionals than ever before come through our Crash programs and leave with a new lease of life for credit unions and what they do. We’ve seen our Crashers attend CUDE, become i3’ers and become credit union CEOs. Yes, we’ve really achieved something. I never could have imagined that we’d be here, achieving so much, together.

As for me, I’ll still be at Filene. For now, I’ll still be with the Trust helping to manage our transition. This is not goodbye, just, catch you later! I am excited to continue to help credit unions implement our vast body of research to better help Main Street Americans and credit union members all over the world.

As for The Cooperative Trust: LAUREN! LAUREN CULP. Lauren is amazing and is joining us by way of Alaska. Lauren brings a curiosity to The Cooperative Trust that will take this amazing community to the next level – I don’t want to tell you too much as I’ll let her speak for herself (below…)

Four years ago, when I started, Brent Dixon asked you to reach out to me, meet me, mentor me. As Brent asked this of you four years ago, I ask this of you now for Lauren. If my rollercoaster has been anything to go by, Lauren is sure to have 100 more loops and corkscrews and she’ll need you to help her through!

Thank you for everything. I’m not crying, you are.

James

A note from Lauren:

Hi everyone!

Thanks James, for the introduction! If you don’t know me yet, I’m Lauren – avid coffee lover, recent Alaska resident, current i3er, and 2016 Crash the GAC alumnus. I just moved to Madison last week after six years spent in “The Last Frontier.” In case you’re wondering, here are just a few fun things I did in Alaska:

  • Backpacked the scenic 33-mile Chilkoot Trail
  • Watched the Northern Lights from my bedroom window
  • Flew a tiny plane (with the assistance of an actual pilot) through Alaskan mountain ranges
  • Took lots of Vitamin D because yes, it is really dark in the winter
  • Spent five years working for a great Alaskan credit union

Now, I’m thrilled to be joining the awesome folks at Filene. Brent and James have done big amazing things with the Trust and have left large shoes to fill. In the coming months, I’ll be working with James and Tansley to transition into the Cooperative Trust Manager role. My first Crash in this capacity will be a really cool opportunity to Innovate with Visa in San Francisco this August – check it out!

Lots of exciting things are happening at the Cooperative Trust from earning the Herb Wagner Award to reaching the 1500 member mark. None of this could have happened without YOU, so give yourself a pat on the back and then come back for more!

In the coming months, we’ll be focusing on a mentorship program, more integration and engagement at Crash events, and an exciting new website. More on that later. In the meantime, check out the opportunities to stay involved with the Trust!

I’d like to take a moment to personally thank James so much for his fearless leadership, boundless energy, and determined commitment to young people in the credit union movement. Reach out to James (jamesm@filene.org) to let him know how awesome he is (and congratulate him on tying the knot!)

I can’t wait to get to know as many of you Trust members as is humanly possible (shout out to my #CrashTheGAC16 and #Filenei3 family)! Drop me a line if you’re in town or at a Filene event – I’d love to connect, and look forward to working together to empower young adults in credit unions.

 

With lots of excitement,

Lauren

laurenc@filene.org

704.771.8483 mobile

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6 Comments

  1. This is awesome news… excited to see the Trust continually evolve!

  2. Yay to everything! Exciting news and congrats Lauren!

  3. Congratulations Lauren! Excited to see new leadership in this great program.

  4. Such exciting news for Lauren, James, The Trust, YPs everywhere and credit union land in general. On a personal note, I love all of this. Period. With my CUNA hat on, I’m excited to see how the Cooperative Trust evolves, and look forward to new ways that CUNA and The Trust can continue to cause respectful disruption.

    Special thanks to James for the call out. It was always my pleasure to work along side you at the Crash events. You’re kind of awesome.

    Lauren – get it gurl! You’ll be amazing and I have nothing but faith in you.

  5. Very cool congrats!! And good luck

  6. Very exciting news! Congrats to all!

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